How to Set Up a Print Title

Ready to set up your title? Let's get started!

During the title setup process, you will be asked to provide information about your book. This is what we refer to as metadata. The metadata conveys information about your book to customers, bookstores, and libraries. For this reason, it is best to make your metadata as accurate and specific as possible.

As you navigate each title setup step, you will see a red asterisk beside the required information. You will not be able to continue to the next step until the required information is completed. Fields without a red asterisk are not required, but you are given the option to include more information in these fields that will enhance and improve your metadata. For information on additional metadata that can be provided, please see here.

You can add a new title by selecting the “Titles” tab from your Dashboard. Then select Add Titles on the left-hand side of the page and select “Print” as the product type.


About Your Book
If your title is already listed with Ingram Book Company, click on the Autofill Title Metadata button and we will pre-populate some of the title metadata for you automatically.

Complete the Title and Language fields on this page.

Title – This is the title of your book, and it is one of the first things customers, retailers, and libraries will see. You are given the option to include a subtitle if you choose. This can be a more precise description of your book’s subject matter, e.g. Frankenstein; or the Modern Prometheus).

Language – This is the primary language in which the book is written.

Click Continue to move to the next page.

About the Author/Contributors
Contributor – At least one contributor is required (e.g. author, illustrator, etc.). Enter the last name of the contributor first. Then add the contributor’s first name and middle initial (optional). If your book credits an illustrator or editor in addition to the author, enter these name(s) as well. Then choose the appropriate contributor role from the dropdown menu on the right-hand side of the screen. Click the “About Contributor” button next to any contributor to provide additional information about your contributor(s) including a biography, prior work, location, and affiliations.

Click Continue to move to the next page.


Categorize Your Book
Here you will provide Imprint, Subjects, and Audience.

Imprint - An imprint identifies a branch of your publishing company and is typically displayed as the publisher on most retail sites. By default, your imprint will be listed by Lightning Source as the business name associated with your account; you can also request an additional imprint name by clicking the link on the screen.

Subjects – Subjects (also referred to as BISAC subjects) describe and categorize your book with standard codes accepted by the book industry. You can access a complete list of BISAC subjects at the Book Industry Study Group website.

Thema Subjects offer global and unique subjects to categorize your book. You can search BISAC or Thema subject codes by clicking on Find Subjects.

Audience – Classifying the intended audience (juveniles, adults, students, etc.) is required by some retailers, and it helps categorize your book even further. If your book is not marketed to a particular age range, it’s best to default to adult/general. If you select Juvenile or Young Adult as the Audience, you will also be required to specify an Age and Grade range.
Click continue to proceed to the next page.


Print Format (Page 1)
Here you will provide information about the physical makeup of your book – size, color, paper type, etc.

Trim Size – Select your desired trim size from the drop-down menu. This is the finished cut size of your book. Popular sizes for trade paperbacks are 5x8, 6x9, and 7x10, while 8x8 is very popular for kid’s picture books. You should make your decision based on what you think would be the best fit for your book.

Interior Color and Paper – Select your interior printing color and paper type. You will select either black and white or color. If selecting black and white printing, you will have the option of white or crème paper. If selecting color, you will have the option to choose between several color interior types.

Binding Type – You will select either paperback or hardcover.
• Paperback: Perfect Bound has a glued spine with a color cover
• Hardcover:
  --Case Laminate has a color cover that is glued to the boards with an option for a dust jacket
  --Digital Cloth is a digital cloth image with a linen textured lamination. There is an option for a color dustjacket and stamped text on the spine.

Page Count – This is the total number of pages in your interior file. For more info on page count, please see here. 

Additional Options - If prompted, select whether duplex cover printing or interior perforation is required.


Click Continue to move to the next page.


Print Format (Page 2)
Here you will assign an identifier to the title. If you are adding a title for short-run Print on Demand services only you can request a non-distributable SKU for your title by clicking the text on the screen.


SKU – If you do not want to purchase an ISBN, you may use a SKU instead. It is important to keep in mind that SKUs are not accepted in the distribution channels, so distributors will not be able to carry your title if it has a SKU.

ISBN – If you are intending to add a title for full distribution Print on Demand services an ISBN is required. The ISBN (International Standard Book Number) is a unique number assigned to every book. You can think of an ISBN as a Social Security Number for your book, and no two books will have the same ISBN. For example, a paperback, hardcover, and eBook of the same title will each have its own unique ISBN. For more information about ISBNs and where to obtain them, please see here.

Pricing - If you are adding a title for full distribution Print-on-Demand services, pricing is required for all markets in which the title is intended to be sold.

On the pricing section of the title setup, you will see several different markets. Adding pricing will allow your title to be distributed in each respective market. If you decide to include a list price for different markets, we recommend using our currency converter.

It is up to the publisher to determine the list price, wholesale discount and returns status. It is also important to note that the pricing of your title will affect your publisher's compensation (royalties).

List Price – This is the price that retailers will charge their customers when selling your book (retailers may offer discounts to customers for promotions or coupons, but those are taken out of the retailer’s profit, not yours).

Wholesale Discount - The wholesale discount you offer is what our distribution partners receive. You can offer a wholesale discount between 30% and 55%. The most acceptable industry standard wholesale discounts are 53% to 55%. They may pass on a portion of that discount to their customers. By offering a wholesale discount of 53% to 55%, bookstores may receive their normal trade discount or contracted discount from the wholesalers they buy from, such as Ingram. If you offer a discount lower than 53%, your book will be considered a “short discounted” book, and many brick-and-mortar stores will not buy a short discounted book. However, many online retailers will often list a title on their website even if the discount is less than 53% to 55%.

Return Status - Knowing the purpose of returns and how they can affect a publisher is important to understand. Many brick-and-mortar stores will not order a book unless it is returnable, but if books are returned, the publisher is expected to pay the cost of the return (the wholesale cost of the book). For more information about returns and how they work, please see here.

Publication/On Sale Date – The Publication Date is the date that you plan to make the book available to bookstores, libraries and online retailers. The On Sale date is the date before which the book may not be sold by retail partners. If you would like your book to be available for pre-order, you will use the On Sale date to determine when your book will be sold. You may read more about the On Sale date and pre-orders here.

Click Continue to move to the next page.


Print Format (Page 3)
1. Check the boxes for Cover and Interior then select the media you are supplying for each from the drop-down lists available.

2. Check the Return Materials box to indicate whether you would like any original materials provided for title set up returned to you. UPS shipping fees apply when original materials are returned.

3. Indicate yes or no as to whether you wish to order a physical proof of your title.

4. If yes, confirm the shipping address that is pre-populated or click the Change button to add or select a new address.

5. Tick the Large Text Edition box if you are supplying a file in large print format.

Click continue to move to the next page.

Content Upload
This is where you will submit your book files to Lightning Source for review. Print books require an interior PDF file and a cover PDF file. You can read more about our print file specifications in our File Creation Guide.

1. Drag and drop your interior and cover files into the upload areas shown or click Browse to select a file from your computer.

2. If you have a 3rd party uploading files for you, click Email Upload Link to compose an email message to your third party allowing them access to perform the file upload only. You can also enter an email address to receive a notification once the upload has been completed.

3. Once all content is uploaded click Continue.

4. You will now see the following message.

Once your files are submitted, they go through an initial Content Validation process. If our computer system flags something in the file that may cause an issue when printed, you will receive an on-screen notification. Some file issues are required to be fixed by the publisher before moving forward, and a new file with corrections may need to be uploaded.


Title Submission
1. After submitting your files, you will be asked to pay the title setup fee. Review the title setup costs displayed.

2. If a proof order was requested, review the proof order costs displayed.

3. Add a purchase order reference number (optional)

4. Add an email address to receive proof order shipping confirmation (optional).

5. Confirm your payment method.

6. Click I Agree to move to the next page.

7. Your title submission is now complete, and you’ll see the following on-screen confirmation:


Once you have received confirmation of the title submission, your files are moved into the queue for our premedia technicians to review. If any potential printing issues are found, you will receive an email notification with information about the issue, and you may or may not be asked to upload a corrected file.

The typical turn-around time for file review is 2-3 business days for new titles.

After the file review process, you will receive an eProof to review. Approving the eProof allows your book to be printed, and you will have the option to enable distribution.

*Please note that orders will not print until the eProof is approved by the publisher.


NOTE About Foreign Languages, Fonts & Characters: Lightning Source can accept and display metadata using foreign characters. Examples of these languages include Syriac, Chinese, Russian, etc. However, we cannot guarantee how the metadata and foreign language characters will be displayed with our downstream retailers. Booksellers in different regions have their own capabilities and limitations for displaying languages that use UTF8 characters and symbols. To avoid this issue, we recommend using English-style letters or languages that do not use UTF8 characters and symbols.

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